Providing information to the Rent Service post April 2008

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  • #33961
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Forgive me if I have missed something here, but to what extent will we still have to provide information about rent levels for HB claims under LHA?
    I understood that one of the main advantages of LHA from a HB administration point of view was that the tiresome referral process for every PT claim would stop. The advantages would be that we could stop asking all those questions about the rent breakdown, type of accommodation, position of room etc. This would mean shorter claim forms, simpler IT systems and quicker processing.
    I now understand that the Rent Service will still require significant information about rents for PT claims from us in order to keep their records up to date.
    Does anyone know exactly what we are expected to provided and why?

    #94654
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Regulation 114A of SI 2007/2868 details the information you will have to supply (but not why)

    Between the first and fifth working day of each month the LA must supply details of every claim or award of HB made under the maximum rent (ROD) regs or those excluded from those regs by the consequential provisions. You don’t have to provide details of LHA cases (unless you are a Pathfinder.)

    The details include the address and room number, the date the tenancy began, the amount of rent and payment period, whether the tenant has exclusive or shared use of the dwelling, the date HB started and where applicable, the date it ended.

    The draft copy of the Rent Officers (HB Functions) Amendement Order 2007 states the RO must assume when compiling his list of rents for the LHA that no one who would have been entitled to HB had sought or is seeking the tenancy.

    #94655
    simonh
    Participant

    As I understand it the RO doesn’t take properties into account that are being let to benefit clts when arriving at either the LRR or LHA rates. At the moment they can identify these easily enough from our referrals but from April 08 these will stop, hence the need for ‘ghost’ referrals.

    #94656
    Anonymous
    Guest

    You are right Simon, the legislation on the LRR does require the RO to assume an HB claimant hasn’t taken the tenancy.

    The way I understand the legislation (New Reg 114A), the information to be sent to the RO is (mainly) in respect of claims for which he already has a referral. There does not apppear to be a requirement to send him info on claims that are not referred as they are determined for LHA under Reg 13C.

    #94657
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Our local Rent Officer has told us that, according to latest guidance from his HQ, the law doesn’t exclude his consideration of rents where the tenant
    is receiving HB/LHA but it does require the rent officer to exercise caution and only exclude rents where the fact that the tenant is in receipt of HB has influenced the level of rent charged by the landlord.

    All very confusing.

    #94658
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for your help on this.

    I do accept that there is a requirement to still pass information to the Rent Service.

    I must say I am disappointed as I had hoped that LHA would give us an opportunity to make life easier for the claimants and for us by taking a complete layer out of the process. This seems to me to be an opportunity missed.

    #94659
    seanosul
    Participant

    See my earlier posts on this – the DWP and the Rent Service have so managed to do a Sir Humphry on what was a very simple proposal. In order to “exclude” the cases, the Rent Service will need more information not less. Hmm not bad for a service that was, under any other reading of the LHA scheme, going to be phased out.

    #94660
    Anthony Sandys
    Participant

    So am I correct in saying that we can’t process a claim for LHA until the claimant has supplied this information we need to pass on to the Rent Service (i.e. it’s a condition of entitlement)?

    #94661
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Interesting point,Anthony.

    Perhaps it is not a new consideration however in that a local authority could currently assess HB entitlement without landlord details.How many authorities go ahead and make the award, especially in this age of new claim targets, and pursue that missing data afterwards? Quite a lot I would imagine.I’m sure that will be the approach adopted by many LAs for LHA claims

    #94662
    seanosul
    Participant

    That is one of the issues on the LHA log, as the information is not really needed to decide entitlement. It is simply more data for the Government to lose.

    #94663
    Nicky
    Participant

    Or more data to [b:bea90f6158]lose[/b:bea90f6158] 😯

    #94664
    simonh
    Participant

    Personally I don’t see how you can not award a claim even if the clt refuses to provide you with all the information the RO want as long as you have sufficient for LHA to be processed. I don’t know quite what action we, or the Ro could take in that instance.

    #94665
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    There is a legal requirement for the LA to provide this information to the Rent Service but is there a legal req for the CUSTOMER to provide it? It is a basic rule that only information that is needed to assess entitlement is required.

    HBINFO’s view is that claims should not be held up if the customer is not aware of service charges etc included in the rent. They can be asked to obtain it but if they dont?

    #94666
    Anthony Sandys
    Participant

    So, if the information is not required in order to process the claim, can we ask for it on the claim form? From a data protection point of view, surely we can only ask for information for the sole purpose of processing claims for benefit. Any other use of the data would have to be expressly stated, or requested on a separate form.

    We are all in the process of redesigning our claim forms for LHA, so it would be useful to get clear guidance on the matter, soon.

    #94667
    simonh
    Participant

    Depending on how many different claim forms you are going to have I think you can leave the questions on. You will still have some claims made by people who are subject to RO referrals – caravans etc and will still need that information for theswe claims.

    As previously said, the problem arises with people who don’t fill these parts in and we don’t need the info for the LHA decision.

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